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Woolamai Surf Life Saving clubs in South Gippsland celebrate leadership and achievements of women

State-wide initiative, lifesavers from across Victoria, banded together in pink on the weekend to celebrate female leadership in lifesaving.

By news@gippsland - 17th February 2022 - Back to News

For the first time as a state-wide initiative, lifesavers from across Victoria, including Wonthaggi LSC, Woolamai Beach SLSC, Venus Bay SLSC, Waratah Beach SLSC and Cape Paterson SLSC, banded together in pink on the weekend to celebrate female leadership in lifesaving. Pink Patrols are a club-led initiative which aims to acknowledge and celebrate the many contributions women past and present have played in lifesaving, and showcase operational and leadership capabilities of women and girls.

The Pink Patrol mission is to to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of girls and women in shaping the lifesaving movement, and make the opportunities and pathways in lifesaving more visible and with the vision for all to Victorian Clubs embrace a Pink Patrol annually

The Pink Patrol mission is to to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of girls and women in shaping the lifesaving movement, and make the opportunities and pathways in lifesaving more visible and with the vision for all to Victorian Clubs embrace a Pink Patrol annually

A day of mentoring and fun

This year for the first time, Pink Patrols were held at lifesaving clubs and aquatic facilities across the state, with 36 host clubs and 16 aquatic facilities taking part in a coordinated Pink Patrol on 19 February.

Woolamai SLSC hosted its eleventh year of Pink Patrol through weekend celebrations on the and COVID impacted the club's 10-year celebrations in 2021. Saturday kicked off with a patrol, involving over 15 patrollers taking to the sand to celebrate the contributions of women in the club.

Annie Coleman, director of diversity and inclusion and patrol captain at Woolamai, said that the initiative is a huge part of their club, and is always special day of mentoring and fun for all. "It's such a point of growth for our young members, it's about breaking down barriers. This initiative is another opportunity to showcase their strength and talents, and most importantly to be mentored by the more experienced members of our club." Ms Coleman said.

Sharing stories and experiences

On Sunday, the celebrations continued with a club development breakfast, inclusive of a three-generation panel of female lifesavers, who shared their own stories of experiences, struggles, pathways, and achievements as a woman in lifesaving.

"It's a big part of our club, it's natural for us. It's exciting to see how we have evolved. We now have blue and rainbow zinc, inclusive of every gender. The huge spread of people makes it more special."

"Georgie Wettenhall, who started Pink Patrol in 2011, spoke to the group about its Pink Patrol history and how the club has grown from strength to strength over the years. It was a fantastic weekend," she said.

Encouraging the younger generations

Vice patrol captain from Waratah Beach SLSC Millie Hartung said the club celebrated after its Pink Patrol by hosting its pink themed breakfast to raise money for the UN Women Australia. "Leaders of the club spoke to the younger generations, encouraging them to continue their involvement in lifesaving. We wanted to make sure that the younger volunteers knew of the history of past female involvement and the different ways to be involved," Ms Hartung said.

Life Saving Victoria's board director of membership and leadership development Rebecca Schot-Guppy said the day involved all-women or women-led life saving patrols showcasing the capacity and capability of women and girls in leadership roles.

"Pink Patrols are an initiative that started at a grass roots level and have built up momentum. The movement is continuing to go from strength to strength. If you can't see it, you can't be it. We know that representation is key and our hope is that this positive role modelling of women in leadership roles, will inspire and empower future generations of women and girls, to confidently pursue opportunities in lifesaving, aquatics and beyond." Ms Hartung also said.

Georgie Wettenhall,started the Pink Patrol, has provided enormous service to the club and has filled nearly every major committee role in the club as president, director admin & finance, club captain, chief Instructor, and patrol captain

Georgie Wettenhall,started the Pink Patrol, has provided enormous service to the club and has filled nearly every major committee role in the club as president, director admin & finance, club captain, chief Instructor, and patrol captain

Opportunity to take part

Ms Schot-Guppy also said, "We encourage other clubs, aquatic facilities and organisations from the broader community to challenge themselves to undertake a shift, a patrol, a meeting, whatever it may be, with a full cohort of women and empower other women to do the same."

"There is such exciting opportunity that comes from having a seat at the leadership table for women, and we are proud to be part of the movement inspiring the next generation of women," Ms Schot-Guppy concluded. For more information on Pink Patrols, head to Life Saving Victoria website.

Pictures from Life Saving Victoria Facebook page and Woolamai Beach SLSC website.


Source: http://gippsland.com/

Published by: news@gippsland.com



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